Men’s and Women’s Crew: Huskies begin 2007 season

By Jewel Della Valle

Northeastern’s crew teams kicked off their respective seasons this weekend on opposite ends of the country.

The women’s team competed against Dartmouth and Boston College on the Charles River, and the men’s freshman eight faced off against five other crews at the San Diego Crew Classic Saturday.

Dartmouth took the varsity eight race by 0.6 seconds with a time of 6:44.7, squeaking ahead of the Huskies in the final 10 meters. BC finished third, 22 seconds behind the Northeastern boat.

“We didn’t continue to do that through the race,” said head coach Joe Wilhelm. “Our goal going into this race was to have a good, solid start and really establish a strong rhythm and a strong base speed for the middle of the race and we did that.”

Wilhelm also pointed out the team’s weaknesses.

“What we didn’t do very well, when it came down closer to the finish of the race, is Dartmouth just out sprinted us in the last 500 meters and that’s something that we really need to work on as a crew is to be in a position to win the race,” he said. “We just couldn’t close the deal.”

Northeastern finished with a time of 6:54.4 in the varsity four race, beating out the Big Green by more than a minute. NU finished at 7:01:0 in the second varsity race, just six seconds ahead of Dartmouth.

Wilhelm said these crews did a better job maintaining boat speed than the varsity eight, but were not pushed as hard and didn’t need to sprint much. The Eagles placed third in both races.

“I think those two crews did a really nice job again of establishing a strong base rhythm and a strong base speed, which is what we’ve been trying to do,” he said. “Maintaining your boat speed is great, but when it gets down to the end of the season, we really need to learn to sprint that 500 meters a little bit better.”

Dartmouth, at 7:04.8, beat the Huskies by 21 seconds in the novice race, with BC coming in third.

On the men’s side in San Diego, the NU crew beat out Stanford by 4.55 seconds in the preliminary round of the Derek Guelker Memorial Cup race and took third in the final round. With a finishing time of 6:22.22, the Huskies crossed the finish line just 2.2 seconds behind second-place Orange Coast, and almost 14 seconds behind winners California. The full men’s squad will start its season April 14 at the 30th annual Arlett Cup on the Charles.

The women’s crew travels to Philadelphia this weekend to take on Syracuse and Pennsylvania on the Schuylkill River at the 28th annual Orange Cup.

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